Vince Wilfork: We need Logan Mankins

Vince Wilfork knows how good Logan Mankins [stats] is as an offensive lineman. He plays against the left guard every day in practice.

That’s why Wilfork is hoping Mankins, a restricted free agent who recently demanded a trade because he feels the club hasn’t dealt with him honestly with respect to a new contract, remains a Patriot.

“I think he is the best offensive (guard) out there. Hands down,” Wilfork told the Herald in a phone interview today from his Florida home. “I’ll stand by that. I see the guy every year in camp and in practice we see each other. He’s every bit of what you look for in an offensive lineman. He’s got the toughness, he’s got the strength, he’s got the quickness, you name it, he’s a complete football player, and to have one of them on the offensive line, it’s very rare.

“But he’s one of the ones out there, he can make a diffference himself in whatever he’s doing,” the Pats Pro Bowl nose tackle said. “But it’s a business. I understand it’s a business. That’s how I feel about it. For what it’s worth, I don’t want him to go anywhere. I think we’d lose someone very, very special. Somebody that’s dedicated. But business is business. Sometimes things don’t pan out the way you want it to pan out. But I want him as a teammate. But if not, hopefully we’ll meet up again.”

Wilfork had his own contract dispute with the Pats earlier in the year but it never became publicly venomous. He was given the franchise designation, but soon after came to terms on a long-term extension (5 years, $40 million with $25 million guaranteed).

Wilfork thinks Mankins brings some nastiness to the Pats offensive line, which is important.

“Trust me, he’s got a defensive lineman mentality. Whenever you have an offensive lineman with a defensive lineman’s mentality, he’s going to be a tough son of a gun,” Wilfork said. “But he brings that to the table. He brings that toughness, that nastiness. He stands up for his teammates, especially his offensive linemen, his quarterback, and his backs. He stands up for them. He’d go to war for any one of those guys. Any one of us, he’d go to war for, and that’s the type of teammate I love. We got it in Mankins, so hopefully, they can get a deal done. I don’t know what the situation may be, but I’d love to keep him as a New England Patriot. But business is businss. How it unfolds, is how it unfolds. I just hope when it does unfold, he is a New England Patriot.”

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